Salad bowl (was Re: The Finger (1947?))

Baker, John JBaker at STRADLEY.COM
Mon Jan 14 16:37:00 UTC 2002

        I think these guesses are correct.  Every example I've seen of
"salad bowl" contrasts it to "melting pot," with one speaker (Alex Haley,
author of "Roots") saying that a melting pot suggests oatmeal.  The earliest
use I saw was from the 6/13/83 issue of Time:  "The new metaphor is not the
melting pot but the salad bowl, with each element distinct."

John Baker

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Mark A Mandel [SMTP:mam at THEWORLD.COM]
> Sent: Monday, January 14, 2002 11:04 AM
> Subject:      Re: Salad bowl (was Re: The Finger (1947?))
> Most people are not familiar with hot-metal (industrial)
> imagery. I had always assumed that "melting pot" was
> culinary, without examining it closely. I'm not so familiar
> with the kitchen that I could say "there's no such thing in
> cooking", and I associated it with a stew or soup, or
> possibly a fondue (which does melt, as the name implies). I
> have a vague sense that the explanations of it that I'd seen
> also referred to cooking; maybe "flavors melting together."
> I suspect, though I can't prove it, that "salad bowl" was
> deliberately coined in response to such a culinary
> interpretation of "melting pot". And I'm certain, though I
> can't give a citation, that the first time I saw "salad
> bowl", or one of the very first times, it was accompanied by
> an explicit assertion of that contrast to the "melting pot",
> just as you describe and cite:

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